464 HISTORY OF PERSIA CHAP. The final assault was entirely successful. The signal was given by the explosion of a mine, which levelled a large section of the wall, and the Russians, advancing in several columns, quickly captured the fortress. The pursuit of the fugitives, seen by O'Donovan from the neighbouring hills, turned the flight of the Turkoman into a rout Thus fell the last great stronghold of Central Asia. Many years after this victory, as I wandered among the ruins of the fort, while ready to pay due homage to the assailants' valour, I marvelled at the desperate courage with which this simple walled enclosure had been held for more than twenty days against the Russian army. For the Tekke Turkoman the blow was crushing and final. The Tekke of Merv were persuaded to submit by Alikhanoff, a Russian officer who by birth was a Moslem of Daghestan ; and in 1884 Merv became a part of the Russian Empire. The Sariks of Yulatan, the oasis to the south, followed suit, as did other minor tribes also. This successful cam- paign constituted the fourth and last stage of the Russian advance. The Effect on Persia.—The effect on Persia was two- fold. That power has been unable to repress the constant raiding of Khorasan by the Tekke, Yamut, and Goklan,1 and consequently the action of Russia was an inestimable benefit to the harassed peasantry. Against this must be set the hemming-in of Persia to the north and the loss of her prestige through the Russian annexation of Merv. The new frontier, too, which ran up the River Atrek as far as Chat and thence up the Sambar, was drawn most unfavourably for Persia in its eastern section. All the fertile atck> or skirt, of the range was annexed by the Russians, and the Persian villagers of the uplands were not permitted to increase the extent of their irrigated land by a square yard or to* plant a new tree. To-day Russian officials cross the Persian frontier at will and punish any contravention of the treaty by the destruction of crops and in other ways. The Capture of Herat by Dost Mohamed, 1863.—We 1 Unfortunately, of recent years the Turkoman who inhabit the Gurgan Valley have recommenced their murderous raids.